The 64-Bit Question

John Paczkowski:

J.K. Shin, Samsung’s mobile chief, said on Wednesday that his company also has 64-bit devices in the pipeline. “Not in the shortest time, but yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” Shin told the Korea Times.

Apple has gone through a 32-64 bit transition before, with Mac OS X, and it was fairly seamless for users and developers alike. Will be interesting to see how Android fares.

Indeed, there’s little to be gained from slapping a 64-bit chip into today’s smartphones, aside from being the first to say you’ve done so.

“Adding 64-bit processor capabilities adds nothing to the user experience today, as it would requires over four gigabytes of memory,” Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy, and a former executive at AMD, told AllThingsD. “Most phones today only have one to two gigabytes of memory, and it will be years before the norm is four.”

That’s nonsense. There are serious performance gains by going 64-bit. Addressing more than 4 GB of memory is not the only advantage.

Thursday, 12 September 2013